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Sunday, 3rd January, 2010 | By The Craftsman | Category: Trends

10 Trends to Follow in 2010

The stage is set for 2010 to be a breakout year in marketing and technology. Companies and consumers alike are not only doing things differently, they’re thinking differently.

The following trends have the potential to shape how we consume information, make decisions and do business, not only in the coming year but in the coming decade.

1. Trustcasting

Over the past few years, the simultaneous decentralization of the channels of communication and the rise of economic uncertainty have created a culture of highly discerning consumers that are increasingly resistant to traditional advertising messages. The net result is that trust has become the new currency of business, and trustcasting has replaced marketing as the way to grow business.

Trustcasting, defined as the ongoing process of building and maintaining trust between a business and its customers, holds as its mantra that any and all resources dedicated to the promotion of business must directly or indirectly be founded in trust.

In order to compete in the 2010 marketplace, businesses must learn to approach customers as people, getting to know them on a personal level and engaging them in two-way conversation. Everything will become centered around developing an authentic and reciprocal relationship between company and customer. Demonstrating respect for the customer will become paramount, which will require companies to demonstrate that they not only value the customer’s time and attention but have their best interests at heart.

In 2010, word-of-mouth will be the primary medium by which today’s customers are won. Therefore, business will stop pouring untold sums into traditional advertising vehicles and make a real investment in the quality of their product or service. Rather than inundating the masses with slick but meaningless marketing messages, the focus of business will shift to getting and keeping the best kind of customers — true, dedicated fans that identify themselves with and become evangelists for the brand.

2. The Apple tablet and a new era of publishing

Speculation has been rampant about what is expected to be the latest high-tech gadget to come out of Cupertino, California – the much-rumored tablet computer from Apple.

As a true testament to the brand, Apple faithfuls are already salivating over the idea of an Apple tablet. Although virtually nothing is known about the tablet, the implications of such a device are enormous. And you can bet that no matter what it is, Apple will make it beautiful, intuitive and functional.

The tablet could potentially change the way we consume media and revolutionize the magazine and newspaper industries.With Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s nook now on the scene, the momentum of the hand-held digital media format is already building. If Apple can bridge the gap between a one-dimensional e-reader and a full-featured laptop, it will undoubtedly be a game changer.

With reports that well-established news outlets such as The New York Times are working with Apple coupled with the empire of music, videos and podcasts already available through Apple’s iTunes, the tablet could potentially change the way we consume media and revolutionize the magazine and newspaper industries.

Could the future of publishing look something like this?

3. Life in the cloud

As if we don’t spend enough time online, the push toward moving the entire computing experience from the desktop to the Web is only beginning.

It should come as no surprise that the company leading the way is Google. In November 2009, Google revealed details of their new operating system Chrome OS, described on the company’s blog as follows:

First, it’s all about the web. All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs.

This signals a change in the way we think of the Internet. Just as Google Docs eliminated the need for dedicated software to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations, Chrome OS could do the same thing for operating systems.

4. Á la carte entertainment

Entertainment on demand.The old cliche still holds true: 200 channels and nothing to watch.

But why should you have to pay for all those channels when you only want to watch a handful of shows?

With increasing content from large studios, HD support and “minimal commercial interruption,” momentum is shifting toward Internet TV services such as Hulu and Fancast.

New episodes of hit shows like The Office, Family Guy and Glee are available less than 24 hours after being aired. Both sites also offer a large archive of older shows that can be viewed anytime, anywhere. And with applications like Hulu Desktop and Boxee, the experience gets even better.

In 2010 the future of Internet TV gets even more interesting. Why? Comcast is buying NBC Universal. One can only speculate what the joining of the two biggest players in online television means for the future of online video, but both the Hulu and Comcast models are expected to move toward a subscription-based service.

The reality is that online video is growing. As the line between computer and entertainment center continues to blur, it’s only logical that the Internet will someday become our main source of content. We’re already seeing this trend with Netflix now offering movies instantly via the Internet. As the methods of delivery and quality improve and more options become available, 2010 might just be the year you can finally say goodbye to that nasty cable company.

5. HTML 5, CSS 3 and the death of IE6

2010 will see further adoption of two new standards in web design and markup: HTML 5 and CSS 3.

So what does that mean to the average web user? It means faster page loads, better design, more site interaction and richer features. It also means it’s time for Internet Explorer 6 to die.

IE6 was released in 2001. That’s nine years ago, and yet, the latest statistics indicate that it still holds more than 10 percent of the market share. Ask any developer, and they’ll tell you that IE6 is the bane of their existence. But developers are to the point where they are no longer willing to sacrifice performance for browser consistency and consequently have stopped developing sites with IE6 in mind.

Better browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome will continue to gain popularity in 2010 – a trend that is truly better for all mankind. The mainstream adoption of these browsers means a better Web for all of us, in the form of better sites, better code and a better user experience.

6. Mobile devices will be a dominant platform

smartphoneSmartphones such as Apple’s iPhone and Verizon’s Droid aren’t really phones. They’re computers that happen to make calls while allowing you to shoot video, surf the Web, check Facebook, tweet, play video games and more – all in the palm of your hand.

In 2010, smartphones will continue to evolve into the go anywhere, do anything devices once foretold by Popular Mechanics. Recent developments, such as the Square iPhone Payment System and USAA’s Deposit@Mobile check depositing capability for the iPhone, point to mobile devices changing the way we spend money and handle financial transactions.

The single biggest obstacle currently hampering the advancement of the mobile platform is not the capabilities of the hardware but the strength of mobile networks. It has long been rumored that Apple’s exclusive iPhone contract with AT&T will be ending sometime in 2010, and Verizon’s recent ad campaign signals they are positioning themselves to take on a tidal wave of iPhone users who are satisfied with the device but are frustrated by insufficient network support. Such increased competition among service providers will drive infrastructure improvements, and the true winner will be the consumer.

7. Traditional marketing agencies will change or die

We can expect in 2010 to see traditional marketing firms fall victim to their outmoded, overpriced ways of doing business. The economic recession of 2009 provided the catalyst for a dramatic shift in how advertisers are spending their marketing dollars. While some companies have elected to save money by significantly reducing their spending, others have bypassed their marketing firms altogether by bringing their efforts in-house.

2009 was the year clients took a critical look at their relationships with their agencies and discovered that their services did little to boost their bottom line. As a result, businesses began to award contracts to firms that could demonstrate a strong ROI through the implementation of nontraditional marketing strategies and tactics. Agencies that came to the table with an arsenal of interactive services, including intelligent website development, SEO and direct advertising campaigns, attracted dollars once spent on conventional creative services and media buys.

As companies continue to raise their expectations of what an agency can and should provide, we can expect in 2010 to see traditional marketing firms fall victim to their outmoded, overpriced ways of doing business. In their place, digital shops will come to the forefront, armed with innovative ideas, real business acumen and a genuine desire to help their clients succeed.

8. Location-based services

Location-based ServicesWith the combination of GPS-equipped smartphones, augmented reality apps and sites like Foursquare, Gowalla and Google Latitude, where you are and what you’re doing will play an important role in 2010.

Location-based services are poised to change the way we view our physical environment by adding a virtual layer of information to our surroundings. With augmented reality, one no longer needs to look up a location on a traditional Internet browser. Simply point your camera phone at a building, and all the information you could ever want is instantaneously displayed.

Foursquare takes this to another level by turning cities into virtual gaming environments in which participants earn badges for checking in at various locations.

As the movement toward an enhanced physical environment continues in 2010, savvy marketers will extend their foray into the arena, finding innovative ways to maximize the potential of hyperlocal technology to promote products and services.

9. Real-time information

Internet users accustomed to instant messaging and status updates from Facebook and Twitter now demand that same kind of immediacy in other online activities. Google and Bing have already implemented real-time information in their search results, displaying a constant feed of Twitter updates pertaining to a search entry.

For businesses, this means customers can access instant information and consumer feedback about their product. Reviews, complaints or praise will now accompany a simple search, constantly influencing the customer’s decision-making process and keeping businesses on their toes.

10. A richer web experience

Consumer expectations are constantly being raised to new heights. Sites full of static corporate speak simply don’t cut it anymore. Customers not only need to be informed, they demand to be engaged.

In 2010 the Web will be the primary channel used by businesses to create a personal relationship with their customers. This translates to sites that are better designed, more interactive, easier to use and provide more valuable and relevant content in order to successfully compete for the customer’s attention.

The Craftsman
Fame Foundry's Craftsman works with passion and meticulous care building intuitive interfaces, modern style and refined aesthetic.